Tuesday, February 27, 2007
This photo is of my book of old photos before the camera broke! Someday I hope to scan these photos in to the computer. The page I photographed here is titled “Typical black people of Brasil”. I like it because I can’t imagine many people were taking photos on the streets of Brazil in the 30s. But it drives me crazy because he doesn’t even say where in Brazil he is. Click on the photo to get a bigger version. I’m sorry I cut off the title on two of the photos. The one in the middle had a strange title. It said, “I am not so dark!”
Let me tell you a little about this book. It has a leather cover that’s heavily worn at the edges with thick black paper pages and cellophane pages in between to keep the photos from touching. As you can see it’s all hand written in German in white ink. The title page to whole album translates to “Happy Easter 1938! With love from Oskar. A small flight through California, Mexico, and Brazil –6. VII- 1935 – 6. III- 1938.” To me this photo album is an incredible story. Back then going from California to Brazil is not a little flight! I think he was joking. Flying itself was not normal in 1938! We’re talking long before the jet engine and commercial travel for the masses. Then you think about the politics of this time and whom we are traveling with. It’s reminded to you as there is one photo of a boat and hanging on the boat is a banner that says “Ein Folk, Ein Werk, Ein Reich”. Remember we are between WWI and WWII (WWII was just about to begin in Europe in 1939!).
So Oskar traveled around for 3 years and then in 1938 he sent this book of photos to his relatives in Germany and some how 68 years later I found it in antique market in Monopoli. Some of the photos are missing and some don’t seem to fit the title but I can’t complain. Every so often I like to get it out and look through the photos and think of the stories. In Mexico he took one photo of mummies in a museum and then several of a vulcano that make a panorama, so he took photos in museums, people and nature. I need a scanner so I can scan them in and not page through the book as I risk damaging it more. Curious enough I don’t believe there is a single picture of Oskar. There are two of “big” woman in an apron that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere in the book. Maybe this is his wife? Maybe she has nothing to do with this book?